Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sticking it to 'Em

I live in a conservative county in a conservative state. Thus, Obama/Biden signage and bumper stickers were scant before the election and many of those that did appear turned up late in the campaign. I suppose some Obama supporters found the local political climate intimidating; a friend who screwed up the nerve to slap a small Obama sticker on her car avoided a yard sign for fear it would be stolen or vandalized (though her neighbor up the street had a sign out for weeks without trouble.)The result, at any rate, was that I noticed relatively few Obama stickers on cars leading up to the election.

Today, I think I saw more Obama bumper stickers than I had in the past month: on one busy stretch of road alone I spotted four or five in a matter of two or three minutes.

What gives?

Is it a sense of safety in numbers, or is the need to gloat overwhelming enough to override all concerns about possible vandalism?

It's not the first time I've noticed this phenom. A day or two after the '06 elections, I found myself in traffic behind an elderly woman with a very smug homemade sign taped in her back window. I guess winning the day isn't enough for some folks.

Prior to the 2004 election I had a Bush/Cheney sticker on my car. The day after the election I removed it. This was not out of fear of vandalism. (I was, at the time, driving a nine-year-old Volvo wagon and wasn't overly concerned about a few more dings. Besides, those things are built like tanks.) It was merely out of awareness that there was a lot of anger about the outcome. While I wasn't about to give up the win, gloating about it just seemed like a classless thing to do. I hadn't voted for bragging rights or to annoy people; I just wanted the better candidate in office. Had McCain been elected this time around, I probably would have done the same with the sticker currently on my bumper.

That sticker remains, until I get hold of a "Don't blame me, I voted for McCain/Palin " to replace it. Good will only goes so far, and I'm now the loyal opposition.

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